Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wireless Headphones Now Wireless Speakers.

I use some inexpensive (and relatively uncomfortable) Emerson wireless headphones while watching TV late at night so I don’t ruin my marriage. A while back I picked up an identical set at a yard sale. The original headphones had suffered mightily over the years so I retired them and started using the new headphones. The transmitter unit is identical and I didn’t have to swap it out. Tandem to this incredibly interesting bit of my personal history, I started looking to buy a shower radio. I find showering almost as boring as exercise and wanted a way of playing some tunes while I washed. As I thought about it I realized that:
a) We get very few radio stations
b) those radio stations all, um, suck.
c) That what I really wanted were wireless speakers I could stream music to from the Roku box, HTPC or Satellite box.
So why not hack the old headphones and turn them into wireless speakers?
The headphones. This is the “new pair” notice they too are starting to disintegrate. Cheap POS…
One of the transmitter units.
Old headphones disassembled.
The circuit board.
Wires going to the headphone speakers are snipped and stripped.
A headphone jack salvaged out of an old PC that is long gone.
Soldering and heatshrink insulating wires… It was very easy as I just hooked up red to red, white to white and ground to ground. The wires are thin and unpleasant to strip and solder. The ground wires wrap around the speaker wire and are not insulated.
All soldered up.
Testing with a set of cordless speakers.
Drilling the standoffs to the (large clearance) tap drill diameter for a #4-48 screw. I drilled out the other half to clear a #4 screw (I had to drill the circuit board as well). Didn’t bother tapping, just screwed the screws in and they formed their own threads.
The headphones put together in a puck. For now the top is held on with a rubber band as I know the second I glue it in place something inside will break. The headphone jack is zip tied to one of the screws for strain relief.
In action in the bathroom. It works like a charm and the sound quality is better than I though it would be. It’s worth mentioning that the bedroom is right next to the bathroom. Not sure what the maximum range is.